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Interview (English)  (Par mail)  mai 2016

Richard Lewis, an early Lush fan, published a fanzine about the band reunion and their creation of the Blind Spot EP. He's discussing for us his passion for the band, currently composed of : Miki Berenyi and Emma Anderson, guitars and voices, Phil King, bassist and Justin Welch to the drum, Chris Acland best friend's, and ex-Elastica drummer.

Can you tell us who you are, Richard Lewis ?

Richard Lewis : I’m just a big music fan and have been into Lush since 1990. They’re one of the few guitar-based bands that I still listen to these days as I now listen to a lot of techno, specifically minimal and dub techno, such as Deepchord, Deepbass and labels like Echospace. Lush struck a chord with me for so many different reasons; intricate, detailed pop songs with great hooks, accompanied with intelligent, thought-provoking lyrics. 

When did you hear Lush for the first time ?

Richard Lewis : I was given a copy of Scar by a friend who was really into the band quite early on and then I remember buying Mad Love at HMV in Oxford Street, London. It was a combination of the music and beautiful artwork which enticed me. Though, if I’m really honest, I’d have to say that it was hearing the track "Sweetness and Light" for the first time that really made me fall in love with the band.

Do you remember their first gig you attended ?

Richard Lewis : Yes, it was at the Old Trout in Windsor in 1990 with a band called The Sandkings supporting, the singer of which ended up in Babylon Zoo, who did that "Spaceman" song that was a hit everywhere. I then saw them a few weeks later at a club in Reading called the After Dark where Slowdive supported them, alongside one other band, I think. It was a long time ago and I, unfortunately, have little recollection of the shows.

Could you tell us about your feelings on each of their albums and main eps, like Scar, Mad Love, Sweetness and Light ?

Richard Lewis : Well, it’s no secret that Split is my favourite album; I think that the album perfectly demonstrated the incredible songwriting skills of Emma Anderson. It was a more stripped-back sound and demonstrated a massive progression in their confidence both as musicians and songwriters. It proved that, as great as all the "effects and swirlyness" (Miki’s words) are, the band didn't have to have all of that to create fantastic music.

I also think that Lovelife is a brilliant record and I’ve never understood the negativity that gets thrown at it. There are some stunning tracks on there; ’Last Night’, for example, is one of my favourite Lush tracks and could quite happily have sat alongside other tracks on Split, just as ‘Hypocrite’ would have worked as well on Lovelife. I don’t believe that there was this huge shift in sound that the press, and even some fans, seem to declare. At the heart of what Lush do, there are these incredibly detailed, well-written pop songs with a very British feel about them. For me, their music surpasses any genre or scene description.

As you’ll well know, Scar, Mad Love and Sweetness and Light were all compiled to create the Gala album, initially released for the US market. There’s a rawness, an abrasiveness, on Scar that I love; all the tracks were actually a collection of demos; it’s very much the sound of a band discovering their own, unique sound and you can hear an enormous amount of potential in the band, even at this early stage. By Mad Love the band were working with Robin Guthrie of the Cocteau Twins and his signature production can be heard all over this record. Out of these three EP’s, Mad Love is the strongest for me as a whole, but my favourite track out of all of them is, as I mentioned before, "Sweetness and Light".

What do you think about the Lush come back ?

Richard Lewis : I, like many fans, had resigned myself to the fact that it was just never going to happen, so when the news broke last September I was thrilled, to say the least! Not just reuniting to perform shows, but with the addition of newly written and recorded material in the form of the Blind Spot EP,  Lush are approaching the whole reunion very differently to other bands and I have an incredible amount of respect for them for doing that. To come back after 20 years with such a strong record is a massive achievement and I definitely consider it to be amongst some of the best recordings the band have ever made. The intricate detail in the songwriting and production coupled with Miki’s fantastic lyrics and vocal performance all add up to make a great record. The reaction to it has been amazing and it’s so nice that people are now talking about the band in terms of their music as opposed to their partying antics, which was very much the case back in the 90s.

You decided to publish a fanzine called "Thoughtforms", why this song title precisely ?

Richard Lewis : The idea to write about the band actually came about over 20 years ago, but never got off the ground for many different reasons. Then, when the reunion was announced in September last year, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to finally do what I had intended on doing all those years ago, but this time to celebrate the return of the band. I started by doing two social media fan pages on Twitter and Facebook, which are both still doing really well, but thought that the band and their fans deserved more than just the odd post or tweet here and there, and so the idea for the magazine was born. As for the name, Thoughtforms, I was really struggling for a name, so I actually asked Miki what she thought and and she suggested I send an email to everyone in the band to get their feedback, so I did just that. Thoughtforms was actually my suggestion and the band liked it; Phil King thought it a good title for a publication and so the name stuck. I had wondered, initially, if it was perhaps too obvious a name, but I think it works perfectly.

The aim with the fanzine, is to present to the fans and others music lovers the Blind Spot creation from an insider point of view, with all the people involved around Lush. How do you manage to contact all the people involved ?

Richard Lewis : The aim, if you like, was to focus on the band in its present state. Over the years there has been so much written online about the band, so many photographs which everyone has seen before etc, etc, and so I wanted to get a different and fresh angle on everything and I think I achieved that. The emphasis was on the reunion of the band, all the background detail of the Blind Spot EP, from the songwriting, recording and production on to the artwork, photography, graphic design and the video for ‘Out Of Control’. I think it’s worked out really well. There’s been some incredible feedback and several people have said things like it’s enhanced the whole experience of the band’s reunion for them, which is incredibly flattering.

Did you call the band to explain your project ? How the things were going to be ?

Richard Lewis : It all started from a quick message on Twitter to Emma where I mentioned the idea of creating a fanzine and my ideas for it. Miki had sent me an email thanking me for the social media pages and from that point we were all in regular contact with each other. I was aware that everyone had full-time jobs and families as well as the band and so I didn’t want to be intrusive, but they were brilliant; lovely, open, honest people and without their help it would never have gotten off the ground. They put me in contact with different people, such as Ivo Watts-Russell and Chris Bigg; I thought it would be a long shot getting them involved but they were incredibly supportive of the project and dedicated a lot of time to me. It was an absolute honour to talk with them as they were hugely influential people to me when I was growing up. I had pretty set ideas about what and who I wanted to feature and how it would be presented, so it was very much my own project.

What is your next step about Lush ? Do you want to write a book about the band ?

Richard Lewis : A second issue of Thoughtforms is being worked on at the moment, which should be published in time for the North American tour dates, which begin in New York on 14th September at Terminal 5. There are no plans for a book, though I do hope to continue running the magazine for as long as possible to document each step of this new era of the band. A lot of people assumed that Thoughtforms would be a one-off, so it’s nice that many people who purchased the first issue are interested in knowing that there will be a second one soon.

Could you tell us which wine will you recommend when you listen to Spooky or Split ?

Richard Lewis : Probably a Pinot Noir for its subtlety, texture and nuance; three words that come to mind when I think about the music of Lush.


A lire aussi sur Froggy's Delight :

La chronique de l'album Blind Spot EP de Lush
Lush en concert au Festival La Route du Rock #26 (dimanche 14 août 2016)
L'interview de Richard Lewis, fan de Lush (mai 2016)

En savoir plus :
Le site officiel du fan club de Lush
Le Facebook du fan club de Lush

Cédric Duchamp         
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# 23 septembre 2018 : Autumn Sweater

Après le plan canicule estival, va-t-il falloir prévoir un plan innondation ? En tout les cas, la météo (tout du moins parisienne) a voulu nous faire savoir que l'on entrait dans l'automne. Qu'à cela ne tienne cette saison est riche en sorties de tout bord tant au niveau des disques, que des films, des livres, des expos et la reprise de la saison théâtrale. C'est parti pour le sommaire de la semaine.

Du côté de la musique :

"Crave" de Léonie Pernet
"Double negative" de Low
"Sound of Papapla Vol 1" de Papapla
"Captain Tarthopom, flûtes libres" de Jean Cohen-Solal
"Faits Bleus" de Pauline Drand
"Mésopotamie" de Fantôme
Tour d'horizon du festival Hop Pop Hop #3
"Le bruit dehors" de Goël
"You vicious !" de You, Vicious !
et toujours :
"Let my children hear Mingus" de Géraud Portal
"Joy as an act of resistence" de Idles
"Move through the dawn" de The Coral
"Reiði" de Black Foxxes
"Rising, la fin de la tristesse" de Blaubird
"Idomeni" de No Mad ?
"Sun on the square" de The Innocence Mission
et entre livre et musique "Beach Boys, un été sans fin" de Jean Emmanuel Deluxe

Au théâtre :

les nouveautés de la semaine :
"Les Enivrés" au Théâtre de la Tempête
"Le Père" à la MC à Bobiny
"Misery" au Théâtre Hébertot
"Love Me Tender" au Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord
"Qui a peur de Virginia Woolf ?" au Théâtre 14
"Les mots pour le dire" au Théâtre L'Archipel
"Le bateau pour Lipaia" à la Comédie Italienne
"Voyage au bout de la nuit" au Théâtre de la Huchette
"Cabaret Louise" au Théâtre le Funambule-Montmartre
"Callisto et Arcas" au Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord
les reprises :
"L'Arrangement" au Théâtre de l'Epée de Bois
"Los Guardiola - La Commedia del Tango" au Théâtre Essaion
"Elodie Poux - Le Syndrome du Playmobil" à l'Apollo Théâtre
"Apzude !" au Théâtre Trévise
"Guillaume Bats - Hors Cadre!" au Théâtre Apollo
"Les Sourds-Doués - Sur un malentendu" au Théâtre Trévise
et la chronique des autres spectacles de septembre

Expositions avec :

"Collections privées - Un voyage des Impressionnistes aux Fauvess" au Musée Amrmottan-Monet
"Jakuchu - Le Royaume coloré des êtres vivants" au Petit Palais

Cinéma avec :

le film de la semaine :
"Rafiki" de Wanuri Kahiu
et la chronique des autres sorties de septembre

Lecture avec :

"Dans les bras de Verdun" de Nick Dybek
"Le sillon" de Valérie Manteau
"Rommel" de Benoît Rondeau
"1994" de Adlene Meddi
et toujours :
"Au loin" de Hernan Diaz
"Beach Boys, un été sans fin" de Jean Emmanuel Deluxe
"Federica Ber" de Mark Greene
"K.O." de Hector Mathis
"L'extase totale" de Norman Ohler

Bonne lecture, bonne culture, et à la semaine prochaine.

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